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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  February 14, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EST

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>> guest: it will be a different area of the world, but same conversation. >> host: thank you for your conversation today. >> guest: i enjoyed it. >> that was afterwords, book tv's author where nonfiction authors are interviewed by people familiar with their material. it airs every weekend at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 a.m. on monday. you can watch online. go to booktv.org and click on after words on the upper right side of the page. ..
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and for that night me and the u.s. began to implement many of the same tactics, which they use in afghanistan and we thought was youth in iraq implementing in an embrace suicide bombings, ieds, things were associating with iraq coming to afghanistan. these days iraq is a forgotten country. and the media, nobody cares about it. it's hard to be get people
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interested. afghanistan is a little more than this because there's more americans they are. but americans are dying from the country tends to be a little more interested. we can't understand what's happening in afghanistan without understanding what happened in iraq and what they think happened in iraq. so i'd like to start with a discussion about iraq and the implications for afghanistan. the narrative, which is impossible to challenge that iraq was going forward play because of poor planning and in 2006 you had this shine i mean come out right in iraq shia shrine north of baghdad can all hope for clues in the civil war started in iraq was falling apart until the physically fit phd general called david petraeus arrived in safety dave,
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the new american hero and now he will save the day in afghanistan , using the same brilliant tactics. but all that is wrong. the civil war in iraq to begin in 2006 at the samarra shrine bombing. it began in 2003 when the americans won the war, they basically lost work. the iraqi army for the most part didn't even say. even aside weather was right or wrong, the decision to go to war was right or wrong in of course it is wrong. if you're going to be an occupier. if you're going to invade a country, at least do it competently. we couldn't even do that. so the military planners knew from experience in haiti, bosnia, closer though, other conflicts in the road that you needed a significant number of troops for the postwar phase because you wouldn't have the state. they're pressing 525 troops and they were given.
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they were granted those troops. this would be a quick easy work to make him in there with 150,000 troops a tank and created this immediate vacuum, shipping with the government, security forces electricity. everything was fine and you had this pervasive sense of lawlessness, which remains to this day. it featured new york city and got rid of the mayor and the police and the like tree city and created a vacuum and have no bureaucracy because he fired them you have bleeding has chipped away even the government infrastructure, i think he would very jewish militias company great games being formed. you would have the police -- former police now acting as private security cards are including in pillaging because they had weapons. i. militias wouldn't do very well probably. [laughter] and from there, so i know. iraq wasn't unique. we saw what happened in the u.s.
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in the aftermath of katrina when you remove the state, all breaks loose. and people are scared to turn to violence. they turn to militias. the americans won the war in april 2003, but they lost the war because militias took over. overnight, you had neighborhood militias being formed. too often they reformed in the face of reformed in the face vegetarian identity. they were formed surrounding mosques, ethnic groups, tribal groups. you aren't going to have a secular nonsectarian educative militias. it didn't make sense. so the guys he used to be in the neighborhood gangs very quickly became the militia men. the americans came in there with this notion that the party was like the party and we needed to elevate to the communist party and fighting fascism, islamic fundamentalism equals communist
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hope. they not the party in the eyes of the american planners and who is a sunni party. so when their eyes they arrested that she is from the sunni not thieves. the army was -- iraq was more complicated than the way the americans devised it. they impose sectarian and ethnic identities and geographic regions. suddenly had the sunni triangle and they were forcing iraq to think about themselves in ways that previously hadn't. racism and sectarianism and communal identity was great in every culture. we say more and more these days attacks on the, muslims, people who look like me these days are harassed on the street sometimes as well. obviously races between blacks and white shirt makes sense. blacks to remain very bitter about the prejudice they feel, but she does the militia
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welfare. you don't see the disagreements in the u.s. turning into the atlantic duties. likewise in iraq, before the war, identity was very complex. he had urban and rural divide, middle-class and poor and wealthy come at people in the government, out of the government, north and south, people who are religious and people who are secular. so how you felt about yourself as a sunni or shia and others dependent on many complex factors, which are their social class, levels to which you devised. if you are a carb he might take the regime in the 90s because they really crack down on she is fair. if you are from some part of baghdad and then you wouldn't really feel it persecuted. while there was a great feeling, she has bring higher echelons of the government. so iraqis tend to romanticize sunni shia identity. your opinions and saying we
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drank from the same two rivers, and married each other, nobody nobody sunni or shia was before the war. that's not exactly true, but it was subdued. the wasn't politically express. there was some resentment. some folks on contempt for shia practices and some shia felt like they were disenfranchised. it was much more complex. there didn't have to be a civil war. there was no history of any mass violence between sunnis and shiites in iraq until we got there. so you took the documents you created in militias forming right away. immediately every day we would hear the chatter of gunfire and it wasn't americans getting iraqis, really sets a logic sense. it was iraq is fighting iraqis, people settling scores, criminal gangs stealing what they could, kidnapping for multi-tab is. and also, people who had real grievances. some of it wasn't that real, but maybe a professor who is about
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to give you a bad grade would be a good opportunity to kill them. or maybe it was an informer who was working for the regime into jupiter executed. as to be a good time to kill them. after all they looted the security nation with a list of informants informants, government spies. and too often, the victims were sunnis because she has her rehabilitated by the new militias. you take this tension and the americans came in there and set up this governing council in 2003, basing it on quotas. some issue needs, so many she has, even the number was chosen not because he was secular, but because he was a shia and there is a demonstration by the summer 2003 at americans creating a civil war. that wasn't true. there wasn't a conscious
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decision. in retrospect it looks a bit made every possible wrong decision that would lead to a civil war from the institutionalized sectarianism. and approach in iraq with the decision that they would look to saddam that the american military to be much more aggressive when they were in sunni areas like falluja and created a self-fulfilling prophecy. falluja is a good example appeared before the war, it was sort of a poor, low middle-class industrial town. nobody had really heard of it. when you went to a picnic at my company and bombard you might start to get some kebabs, but it wasn't any more unique than anywhere else in iraq. the first two weeks after the fall of iraq to the american forces, falluja was quiet. americans didn't go into falluja. local officials took over the administration of falluja peacefully. americans came in and took over a school in the center of town on april 28 come a couple weeks
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after the fall of baghdad, there is a demonstration that americans heard shots fired. they killed 17 people. they killed a bunch more the following day another demonstration began to turn the people of falluja against americans. unfortunately in the first year of iraq, the growing insurgency was just to say that in the spring of 2004, you actually do moment of optimism. he led an uprising in falluja and a shia uprising in the south. and you had sunnis hoping she is in the south fight the americans and she is going to falluja to help sunni militias fight american fare. that might not seem like a reasonable end to be optimistic about, but to me it was assigned that sunnis and shia is for fighting together against the occupation, which meant that they might at the time i thought maybe give them some kind of common narrative of struggle against occupation and get over
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the occupation of the pudding that so many nations need when they are found in our refounded themselves. but that wasn't it because groups like zarqawi and shia groups were just pounding the billions constantly and they were killing on a daily basis shia policeman and shia truck drivers from bag tag into anbar or jordan or syria were stopping in falluja and nothing has caught up for being shia. she is would represent more and more the sunnis for harboring these sorts of anti-shia al qaeda. when falluja was destroyed at the americans in may 2004, you didn't see she is coming to the aid of the solutions. in fact, you saw many saying they deserved it because these people were harboring sunnis that were slaughtering innocent shia civilians. as a result of the discretion of falluja committed hundreds of
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thousands of refugees from falluja, and into western baghdad, places like a man began to display she is living there and went to east baghdad and in turn displaced sunnis living there. and because you had no american or iraqi security forces that can protect local communities, local self-defense militias were more and more important. if you are shia and east baghdad district and you know that some of the sunnis are harboring resistance guys, but you don't and they are, the best thing you can do is get rid of all of them. so you had ethnic cleansing in the way for people coming from falluja and in self-defense force on both side figuring the best thing to do was to get rid of the minority who would harbor militiamen to get rid of them totally. civil war began intensively by the end of 2004. but you had -- for the first
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year or two she is from the defensive. they were weak, did not have security forces. they still felt the real fear that saddam was going to come back, the wannabes would come together and historically they would kill she is in lahore. it was a real sense of shia insecurity. it began to change in 2005. good elections in iraq. and suddenly you some -- gyrates took over the supreme council. and there is a decision made that it is time to be more aggressive. you saw for the first time the phenomenon. they avoid reruns.
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their name is monica. monica lewinsky. their interior monica strafing around town with guys with ak-47s hanging out, picking up sunnis are random. two weeks later he found a civilian corpse in the dump with power drills in the body. they had been tortured and killed. everybody knew these were the minister of interior vehicle is being used by militiamen or by police acting in conjunction with volition men. so i don't want to minimize the shia suffering. certainly there were shia civilians suffering much more in terms of numeric representation. but the sunni population began to feel threatened and from mobile and that was the real shift as for the first two years, resistance groups are confident about the ability to get rid of americans. their attitudes is very contemptuous. they never ruled iraq, kurds, persians. there had been educated.
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they didn't really believe the order was going to day. but they were increasingly aggressive combined with shia dominated police army and it began to have an effect. by 2006, was leaning sunni resistance fighters in iraq and syria and jordan in their discourse to change. there were no longer confident. they said we lost, we miscalculated. we shouldn't have listened to the fight was when they told us to boycott the security services and the government. we handed iraq to the iranians. in the eyes of many sunni arabs in the region, she is our grill carrots. they are persian or iranians. of course that's not true. many of them have a very strong shia identity as well. does that mean they are iranian sympathizers though. that sunnis felt that they are lost.
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and they didn't lose thanks to the american surge or mere contact. they lost inkster black & decker. but i mean by that is black & decker had the power drills. if you found a corpse in iraq, who was killed by a sunni militia. if you find a corpse in iraq with power drills in the body, that was the signature of shia militiamen. you had in 2006 a really strong cooperation between shia militiamen, the iraqi police and the iraqi army and they pounded and punished sunni neighborhoods to the point where sunnis began to populate baghdad heard you at a place like dora in south baghdad, once a neighborhood mix, but when i visited in 2007 it was totally an tea. thousands of homes with all the clothes from there, kitchen full of pots and everything, but nobody was living there. sunnis were defeated, leaving. many she has for her fleeing as
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well. this was the importance of stress, six months before the surge that militiamen begin to realize the applause. what this meant was they were also paying attention to discourse in washington. increasing rhetoric from d.c. you're based in the senate between republicans and democrats. democrats urging them to pull out. it was a lose lose. i'd sunni friends in iraq before a couple years have been backing attacks against occupation, suddenly panicking if americans leave will be slaughtered. you also as a notion saudi arabia thing if americans leave, we'll have to come in there and protect sunnis. one more example of how sunnis were defeated. in the summer of 2006 in western baghdad, british shia neighborhood with them ohashi at tribe north of baghdad.
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in the summer of 2006, the army and collaboration of the iraqi army totally cleansed the sunnis of korea is like a man. there was a the neighbor had wealthy the americans were watching. in western baghdad, there is iraqi colonel called colonel sabina to go into peoples homes, sunni homes, arrest the husband have random and fours the women to have sex within for the release of their husbands. i do want to make it seem like she has her being brutally here. she has had american seniority. they had the american military, iraqi police, iraqi army and they had the mahdi army. they had the numbers to defeat the sunnis. in the summer of 2006 come even a little earlier, americans finally came to the realist nation three years too late that the occupation was a problem.
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the american commander began to describe the american occupation of a problem in our presence in iraq is creating antibodies. that was certainly true in the main struggle in iraq was antieducation come a national liberation struggle or you have resistance groups fighting americans. by 2006 -- even 2005, iraq wasn't anti-american. the main circle is a civil war. the americans were a couple years too late in the realization of what was going on. in 2006 they began to pull out. suddenly he wouldn't do them any more to iraq was occupied. by these random militiamen gathered around the monaco as i type about. people in weird uniforms, malicious hatchet points in different neighborhoods. you have warlords. to me it began to felix amalia, which i visited for the first time a year earlier. americans are pulling out and
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their motto was, we're going to have security to police and army. as they stand up, will stand down. the problem with the iraqi police and army are participants in the civil war and the inside. americans pulled back in the iraqi army were going into sunni neighborhoods, opening fire at random on houses than they realize they were going to come in and that the civil war in iraq could lead to a regional conflict. and president bush, two years away from the end of his reign was beginning to worry about his legacy. he began to pay much more attention to events in iraq and realize the web thing was they would be leaving because you had a regional conflict, jordan, syria, saudi arabia without good about him to be, much worse. few of the sunni realization they had lost to fight al qaeda. al qaeda came into the anbar parts iraq.
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it was very effective against americans because of that suicide bombers. yes, an effective self-defense militia because they were so brutal in that access to funds, but also brutal against the sunni population. the anbar province was smuggling routes, forcing or building a stew and women over as wide. they had taliban rules that were foreign to iraqis. so the anbar and elsewhere, al qaeda began to be an oppressive phenomenon even for a sunnis who were one point dependent on it for self-defense. you had pass attempts by sunni militiamen to fight al qaeda. particularly in 2005 in anbar province. but the sunni tribesmen was that against al qaeda. but she began to see in 2006, six months before petraeus arrived in iraq was the awakening of phenomenon. americans were settled the way they viewed iraq.
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officers had been to iraq or three times now, no longer few things in this black-and-white good guys and bad guys prism and they began to deal with local power brokers. you had the beginning of the anbar province and the sons of iraq. the americans found a third-grade tribal leader and ex-highway robber caught every show, they announced he was a tribal leader, empowered him, protected him and used him as informers and together they began to fight al qaeda in the anbar province. this phenomenon spread throughout the rest of iraq very quickly, just as in the past to resistance groups have learned from each other and so one group would use a donkey corpse, put a bomb in it to grow blow up americans. they use this tag take to spread in the same rapidity, such insights, fighting al qaeda,
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because sunni, iraq is americans an op-ed. americans for the first time in 2006 began to be the least of all evil and sometimes even the savior for iraqis who until then often hated them. petraeus arrived in january 2007, initiating a search. the surge up sensibly to increase troops by 30,000 in the implementation of a new tactic called population center counterinsurgency. the mancha was we are not going to focus on killing the enemy. both focus on protecting the population and tempting them with all kinds of incentives to separate themselves from the insurgents and work with us. now in reality during the search, you are three times as many civilians killed by the americans for the surge, so that wasn't a very centric population. it increased air strike on a capture missions, terrain to
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now, which is renewed by artillery, sometimes in populated areas. but iraqis were so desperate because of the civil war that they were able to observe these increased attacks. the key factor initially was sunni cease-fire beginning in 2006 continuing to 2007, when the guys fighting americans and she is put down weapons or took their weapons and were neighborhood card. they sat in position, not doing too much and informing americans about al qaeda. the 30 focus on baghdad. baghdad was in the hands of shia militia. they had once been the local self-defense militia, have a certain ideology, decreed it was disciplined, but that spread and became more powerful as they began to lose control over their own men who began to act like mafia. once they would get rid of sunnis in different neighborhoods and begin to turn on their own people. the army controlled baghdad more
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or less than attend the surge began in this address, the movement knew they would be the target of the americans, focusing on baghdad. they decided to have a cease-fire as well. so the tajiks -- the insurgents would come, go and will remain controlling baghdad. the leader of the mahdi army was also concerned because mark r. malik david e. were giving him a bad name. he began to have this phenomenon, the iceman. the golden group, which is a unit within the army, which is going around icing them, displaying for assassination, shia assassinations. never taken out to the road. sometimes in cooperation with the americans. the mahdi army cease-fire occurred in 2007, seven into the
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surge and that's when we saw the really huge drop in violent remains to this day. so there wasn't the american surge. with the mahdi army cease-fire. the violence didn't decline until summer 2007. those iraq by weeks ago some of the site of the worst atrocities of war, rwanda, bosnia at a quarter population were hundreds of villages were destroyed in the totally blown up. all the sheep of stock still destroyed. and it was continuing into the summer of 2007. i visited several issues shares just a few weeks ago they were totally destroyed. so violence didn't really decline until the army cease-fire and he had a successful separation of sunnis and shia's in iraq. you no longer have mixed areas to social fabric was destroyed, possibly forever.
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but a couple million iraqis displaced within the country, hundreds of refugees outside of iraq. in a senseless iraqis are dying in part because it was iraqis were killed and she has had one and she has her beginning to realize they had one. and crucially the third fact or was the rise of prime minister maliki. maliki came to power very weak as an american puppet and his main background were the subjects. as he began to flex his muscles and take his role as prime minister were seriously come he realized al qaeda has been taking care of by the americans and shia militias, but i have a competition for power, shia militiamen who were unruly, clashing with security forces in a turn on them too to surprise even the americans. in march of 2008, maliki declared operations. angrily he targeted
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neighborhoods in basra, baghdad and elsewhere. his guys were actually losing. americans are 24 notices of operations came to his rescue with snipers, there's an save the iraqi army because you had hundreds of iraqis lechers and police standing down, not really wanting to fight their army brethren. even though the americans are the ones who ended up crashing the mahdi army, he was perceived as a victory for maliki and the first i was sunnis and iraqis may not have loved maliki, but they professionally accepted he had reduced violence in the wasn't sectarian, a real shift in the way sunnis began to be a maliki. suddenly he was perceived as purely sectarian, but he was perceived as having devastated the mahdi army and they still haven't recovered from that. the decision was pretty brutal. american snipers and gunships
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were killing men, women and children, but the mahdi army was destroyed and that iraqis remain grateful to maliki for a couple years. and then you had an iraqi surge. you had americans and iraqis purging security forces at their worst elements, the guys killing innocent people for being sunni. and this was the main factor in the decline of violence. you take that situation and anti-american ingredients, a sudden increase in density and troops in iraq and baghdad, the main prize in the civil war and the concrete walls. now, these concrete walls, 12, 15 feet tall, surrounding neighborhoods might remind people of palestine was oppressive and destroy the social fabric. he could now across the street to go to the other neighborhood because the walls were surrounding him, but it actually worked in that there's only one entry point and one exit point and you had militiamen working with the americans who were the
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police or american soldiers controlling the entries and exits. so americans conducted sent us a neighbor at figure out who lived where, who belonged to him balaam can prevent militia from coming in and equally importantly they could now thanks to the laws prevent iraqi police are going to a sunni neighborhood and opening fire on the neighborhood because the wall now blocked on that. the americans first game of the civil war as they were. and you had to sunni militia phenomenon, which i thought at the time is a terrible idea. here you have a civil war and some even for militias into the equation. not only that, they were a into the government. i spent time as sunni militiamen. we talked to them, david day we have two occupations, the american occupation and the iranian occupation, meaning she has. americans to leave, but iranians will stay. formic cease-fire with americans and focus on the she has.
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they were openly saying they wanted the government and a dangerous phenomenon. as soon as americans began to transition, the iraqi states began to decimate them. they arrested many men. al qaeda is also starting the revenge. this powerful sunni move meant was mostly wiped out. as for the guerrillas, they were only really powerful when they were underground, names were known, swimming among the masses come up another sunni population has been reducing significantly in some cases they were ghost towns come as sunni neighborhood in the americans and iraqis about the data, names and addresses of new sending militiamen so they could never go underground again. and were targeted and arrested him at for being tough guys in the neighborhood to being on the run. today most of the awakening guys are either in jail, exile or
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dead are asking me to get the visas to come to the u.s. in the mahdi army likewise is calculated and declare the cease-fire that was destroyed by prime minister maliki. so the two main militia groups provide jobs and the american security force was cleansed from the worst elements and were able to be in a security vacuum. we've seen since 2009 that they more or less have been able to control the situation in iraq. prime minister maliki had a certain level of legitimacy and not popularity because he was credited even if it wasn't totally true with and the guy they reduced violence in iraq to the terrible level that we had today, much better than 2006, 2007. if iraq today is going to be something like mexico or pakistan, every strong central regime. nobody can overthrow it, nobody tries to anymore. no movement or ideology. everybody just wants a piece of
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the pie, better services, access to jobs. we have a stronger shame, corrupt, brutal, a little bit a increased the authoritarian and terrible violence in the streets. it just threatens the life of normal civilians. it is sort of like the new normal. so when i was in iraq for x weeks, until several weeks ago, every day i was in baghdad county attempted assassinations with pistols, constant assassinations the sticky bombs. if you're sitting in traffic, somebody walks by, puts it on your car and you go up and nobody knows why. it's happening all the time, everywhere. it could be al qaeda inspired, trying to undermine government. it could be groups fighting each other, political parties fighting each other. if your deputy wants your job, you're hired again to take you out. it is a true story.
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the violence in the iraqi days doesn't threaten the system, but it's terrible and people have to adjust to it. if your number civilians and is it going to threaten you because you're not going to be targeted with being sunni or shia and these days the iraqi security forces are going to kill you just for being sunni. they are going to torture you though. if you get arrested, it's pretty routine. you will get with a glass bottle, the rapid wet blanket and electrocute you. they might demand money from your family. you get the sense, go to court, gestures or confession, you go to jail. if you pay enough money you get out of jail. it's institutionalized a normal these days. that is the optimistic take on iraq, unfortunately. none of these fat others have helped reduced violence in iraq in 2,062,007 to the bad level of
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2010 today. none of those factors are good in afghanistan. it's totally different situation that they are still trying to implement the same type takes because the americans believe it was a surgeon general petraeus was brilliant new tack ticks riding the insurgency doctrine that won the war in iraq. you can call that if it three for the price of close to a million civilians in their homes and tens of thousands of families who had their men spending years in american or iraqi prisons. this is the kind of victory you want to impose on afghanistan. you have more iraqi civilians dying today than afghan civilians. it's no model and the afghans would shudder if they knew what americans were bringing to him. but iraq at least is better today than it was. the worst is over. and iraq, like i said, sunnis were crashed. they eventually were forced to accept it. sunnis realized they lost in you
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now have a new order. it's basically impossible to reverse it. in iraq the resistance is dominated by sunnis, a minority, 20% of the population were sunni arabs. in afghanistan, the taliban popularized in the largest of the groups and the taliban is now spreading into tajiks, is pakistan, whose backs. they had the momentum that controlled 80% of the country, spreading more and more in their star reason for them to feel defeated. you could in theory crash the posh can population the way sunnis in iraq were crashed, the have to be genocidal and the americans thankfully i pepperell. the only be in modern times is malaya to model the americans are .2. but they didn't malaya mistake half a million chinese were the source of the rebels to move
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into concentration camps. you could take millions of pashtun and brutally move into concentration camps or bomb the out of them, but you are to be genocidal and the americans aren't that brutal. so there's no way to crush the population. iraq was easy from an american point of view. it was urban, modern, had roads. the city of baghdad in the population center is spread by it. you can control the population. the counterinsurgency is about protecting people, controlling them so they obey you. in afghanistan, russia had the cities the 1980s. the kabul, kandahar and other cities. they never had the countryside which mujahedin control. the taliban are a rural insurgency and you have thousands and thousands. take marcia for example. many of you remember marcia from
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earlier this year come described as being the geostrategic tele- density and reality at the village of 2000 people in helmand. it took the americans three months to take marjah. it was a storming of normandy or something like that. any month afterwards we find it so popular, still fighting in marjah. every house is half a mile from the other house theaters no roads. you can have individual victories and successes pushing them away from one village to another, but she don't have and never will have the number of troops required to occupy the entire pashtun the south, southeast to control all villages. there is no way to do it. you can't unite any single individual victories to run. another key element in counterinsurgency is you have to build the capacity of the national government so they can come over for you. in iraq you had maliki who
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gained legitimacy and clean up the security forces and destroy militias and you have a civil war so brutal that it actually made the americans had maliki look like a better alternative. in afghanistan now come the last thing you want to do is to the capacity of the karzai government. it's the main reason while people are joining the taliban if people are corrupt. click legitimacy and credibility. it's a beast you want to start. americans are foolishly aligning themselves of the government, police forces have about people at checkpoints, take things without paying for them. the counterinsurgency theory to take over for you. and we see today the taliban has succeeded in sending emissaries into the north and spreading into tajik areas and respect areas.
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the americans in afghanistan ferro alloys quite brutal. anybody who spends enough time with american troops in afghanistan will see or hear stories about american soldiers shooting towards them to make them dance. but you see the daily abu grades. he sought in iraq, too. if you're an occupying force, yet the best intentioned. he can be the gross card for denmark. your very presence will be constantly pointing guns at people. it's the humiliation and indignity that americans can't understand, but people living in palestine and afghanistan and iraq can understand. everywhere you go there are foreigners, huge white guys with guns screaming you had a language to understand. everywhere you go, their guns pointed at u. of american military guys, private security contractors, different militias that are backing.
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and you break into your houses, resting men, have poor intelligence, half the time did the wrong guys, but you may never hear from them again. take kandahar. we spent billions of dollars on the afghan currently, we the american taxpayers. the afghan army didn't cite -- let us not to fight in the first surgeon to does the nine. likewise today in kandahar americans aren't using the afghan army. they're using kernel others are in both of, basically a warlord with 500 guys. in 2006 in kandahar, the canadians relied on lieutenant colonel sir rosa and he was so brutal that he turned much of the population under side of it and punch like to join the taliban. were you saying the same or lower today. where is the afghan army were paid for, billions of dollars. they just didn't show web two of us supposed to be the most
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important operation ever in afghanistan and americans have destroyed orchards, blowing up houses, totally destroying the fabric of life ought to fight al qaeda for the television. if foreign afghanistan to defeat, dismantle, deter, whatever they say al qaeda and we did that in 2002 and won the war. planet earth is fighting the taliban, they might be brutal, might be fundamentalist, not right the way they treat women, but they are a local movement. historically going back to the 19th century, it's been to suit us, tell the band do rise up and fight. the taliban are not a new phenomenon. they are fighting the british occupation is century ago. in the 1980s you had taliban as well. these are local students. when i met them and from earth
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after the funeral made me a solution. local people fighting for local reasons against the foreign occupiers. they are not fighting for al qaeda, christians and and sometimes she hugged. they are fighting for local reasons, islam, to what foreigners in the country's, police are oppressive, fighting because young men were going on a bicycle and americans shot them because they produce a terrorist in the whole village has risen up against them. for the most part they are poor local people raising money to fight a foreign occupation. i would recite them? why we spend billions of dollars to fight and, guys in pickup trucks with ak-47s. how is that a threat? it is a threat to the americans have for example. but we are doing is destabilizing pakistan, a much more sensitive and fragile company. now you have the pakistani taliban phenomenon. we push the taliban into packets
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and cannot drum strikes the border area appeared to push taliban and al qaeda deeper into pakistan into punjab, karachi, chart networks into pakistan, which has 100 huge army in india. as we took al qaeda, which is somehow an army at one point in afghanistan and destroyed it. refers wenden 2001, al qaeda in a couple thousand guys that could fight. they were destroyed or arrested. the remaining by pakistan we can't see them now. pakistan is much better place tonight if you're al qaeda. if you have infrastructure in cities, you can't win as americans. why do we have this massive military footprint in afghanistan where al qaeda is and then you have yemen, pakistan where al qaeda is? i'm not saying we should invade, but by your own longer genex
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docents to be in afghanistan. they think even more importantly al qaeda isn't really that big of a threat in the first place. they got lucky september 11. since then you can't point to any single success. the become an inspiration to people. it's not like you have a james bond bad guy in pakistan sending the type. but we persist with this war on terror with bush's policies under obama now and we are spreading the war of terror into gehman, somalia and elsewhere. gavin -- the yemeni government is the worst regimes now that it's been removed and we are tying ourselves to it. this is a regime in yemen fighting shia rebels. it invents the huge al qaeda threats of weapons and money and support from the u.s. to use against domestic opposition. so the northern secessionist -- where tattersall to them.
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we get ourselves deeper and deeper and with the national security. anyway, i guess i'll take questions now. [applause] >> thank you very much, nir. please keep your questions brief and please identify yourself when you ask a question. >> yap? [inaudible] >> -- as far as foreign policy with iraq and afghanistan. >> now it's only 40,000. they are going to have a presence in iraq and continue to train the iraqi military air
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force, that kind of thing. but they've really reduced their presence. you can't call you back a century number because there's nothing the americans control on a day-to-day basis. in afghanistan -- afghanistan is a political problem income only be military. at some point they recognize to negotiate with the taliban as the solution. the problem though is petraeus has gotten better at killing mid-level taliban commanders. that may seem like a ticket and, but the taliban commanders are the one that have long-standing ties with the community, and therefore much for moderate, able to be pressured by the community, tribal lighters and they probably have much more with mullah omar, taliban commander in pakistan. by killing these guys, you're replacing them with much more younger, radical guys who don't have communal ties and it will
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be much, much harder to negotiate and you're creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that they'll be tied to al qaeda. right out of town and it can us and are totally different than taliban in pakistan. totally different from a panic at the taliban in afghanistan or afghan controls, afghan interesting goals. pakistani taliban are different of course in fighting the pakistan government and in some cases more linked to al qaeda. you only have an history when i've can you try to affect the u.s. and that is in new york and he was tied to the pakistani taliban and with most of his life in the u.s. so they are not a threat, except obviously two people in afghanistan. you have to recognize the negotiating with them is the only solution in the car is a government in aren't that much better than the taliban. but we don't see any sign of that. petraeus is under my negotiation and looks like effectively
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against day. in kandahar the cdc not even contras urgency, but military seeks to remind you about the returning 80 through 84, relying on massive military power. so i think what we'll see as a solution with the radical is based on the taliban that will be pushed into the hands of al qaeda, which is not their natural constituency. so what should be done -- whenever i get attacked for my people ask me what should be done. and we'd have to no longer be who we are for us to see any hope in the middle east, which means that to stop supporting israel and its population in pakistan and stop supporting dictatorships in egypt and saudi arabia and pakistan and elsewhere and it's just inconceivable to imagine this revolution in american foreign and fortunately. luckily i am a journalist and problem finding a solution in the business.
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yeah? >> one of the things they think is more interesting about the current transition in the iraqi government is the relationship between maliki and allow we and maliki and al sadr's. as he said it ironic the new development considering their past. but she don't hear the name al sadr in this country without it being preceded by anti-american cleric and am a semi-complex. it creates an interesting perspective. i don't perceive outsiders deemed anti-american in the sense most americans come to understand the phrase. i'm wondering if you could take a moment about al sadr as anti-american and the new relationship with the prime minister in iraq and what that means on our perspective. >> you remind me of a conversation i had today with a friend who lives in london now. he flew yesterday from london to new york at the airport they asked him are you sunni or shia
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and are you from sadr city. at the airport at jfk they asked her if she had? now, i'm an atheist. are you from sadr city? this is a true story and it's pretty weird because i guess they are worried about a threat from sadr city. so he says yeah, they were anti-occupation and had a strong dislike for america because of his support for israel, but as an iraqi nationalist group, because they were marginalized, they look to iran for support at one time and i ran of course have not since a recent to undermine the american occupation because i ran a very next comes between the shia militias and had to blow up american vehicles than now to better target your areas. the solders hate maliki and the maliki theater. they erik osterman says the maliki difference is in our middle class in sort of a rabble. they hate him because he killed the mahdi army and was brutal
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and continues to arrest the guys arbitrarily. but he did, for a while, back allow we which is a surprise because they crushed the solders in 2004. they hated maliki. maliki didn't want to depend on the satyrs to remain in power because he knows in 2007 cedric pulled out and he didn't want to depend on them and put a black elegant then. so he was always in the sunni parties working with allow we. the parties are being pressured by countries in the region. one thing i forgot to mention that's interesting is what we saw from the last election wasn't that i ran was for she is. saudi arabia had influence over sunnis. the year this was formed with saudi money and turkish organization, turkey helped
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create the art chela and there was pressure coming in from different countries in the region, who are funding some of the sunni parties in the last, not to compromise and not to sell out, but of course they would sell it eventually because maliki would never give up power. so it's better to be in the government and outside of it, better to be an ascent outside the tent. i don't think it's that big of a threat. i think you do want them in the government. when they were marginalized, they were pushed to violence. since 2003 they want to be part of the system. what they presented isn't a strong ideology. it's more anger. in the 50s and 60s the revolutionary brought people back to congress. in the 90s following the american occupation, they are really poor, angry people, they granted the occupation and
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anti-federalist, antiestablishment. the occupation is more or less gone. it's hard to find americans to kill if you want to. you can't be antiestablishment. and you want to be delivered for your people, not that much. so anti-federalist is a movement which doesn't have been a strong medicine at pale anymore and the popularity declines because they're associated with atrocities of the civil war. it's a movement to a represented in the government so they don't feel marginalized. they have messes up or she has in bag at and elsewhere. the americans fear them because they deal irrationally. this is the only social movement, the only grassroots movement. the set entity as a result of it. they initially went that say kerry and forward that silent. it was sort of things to the occupation and the zarqawi
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attack to push them more and more into that direction. i think it is a welcome development that they will be part of the state as long as they don't get the army or some kind of security force, which everyone knows to be a horrible idea. >> nir come in your book, "aftermath" coming to talk about the implication of the middle east, specifically afghanistan and the spillover effect of what is going on between iraq and afghanistan. what about the lebanon and the air of part of the middle east? >> i start this book with the fear that iraq would be mechanized and lebanon is a set carrion system, which beats the competition and conflict between the various groups but it's insuring their mom. in iraq, fortune is the fairness of this night and insuring their mom but it's a way to pursue power and resources and to go through this at.
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group unfortunately. so we did see increased the militia, which reminded us of lebanon and iraq. but by the middle east in a sense can be in the shia site. that was sort of a new phenomenon and we can blame the americans for that and the civil war in iraq and zarqawi and also saudi arabia and i'll get to that. lebanon was the most sent this place because it had a very weak state and it had a strong shia militia and hezbollah and the sunni prime minister who was assassinated and nobody knows who come in 2005, which really re-created the way sunnis thought about themselves and you begin to see it in the whole region, a sunni revival. there's been a revival of sunni identity as well. in two fakes, hezbollah defeated israel. hezbollah became the most
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powerful movement in the arab world and a real threat to sunni dictatorships in egypt, jordan and saudi arabia coming threat because of of what it stood for, in challenge to the popular movements, a populist movements, a movement for social justice. you have a stagnant regimes in saudi arabia and egypt and jordan are collaborating with americans and israelis and causing him legitimacy. they couldn't played the nationalist parceled on a mac, but they had to undermine his last and hamas also, so they played the shia card. they're going to convert to shia sound. persians will come and take over the sunni world and the saudi's controlled the production of culture and media in the arab world unfortunately. they've been working very hard on spreading the fear that she has throughout the arab world. lebanon was successful to that because they had a very strong
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shia military force and hezbollah and the sunni population that last as prime minister billionaire to corrupt rafik hariri in the sunni population feel very weak. you had al qaeda ties from iraq who are basically in 2006, 2007, beginning to come in lebanon and take advantage of the weak state and palestinian camps and the lack of law and order but they are in the same themselves in lebanon. and you had different groups in lebanon, sun sponsored by saudi arabia trying to take advantage of al qaeda guys to fight a lot, where they were mostly focused on hoping they could fight palestinian. anyway, will be seen is lebanon since 2006, 2007 are increasing clashes between sunni and shia bugs on the street and it culminated in 2008 and sunni militias were quickly dispatched in defeated by hezbollah in 24

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